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Organic Alternative

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 25 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all!

Happy Saturday morning from the farm! The temperature was a beautiful 42 degrees this morning with no below freezing temps in the 2-week forecast. One of the sheep we should have culled weeks ago, that I mentioned would make good practice for us in culling, died overnight. The end result is the same, nature just culled her for us. All of the other animals are good. One of our female puppies realized her net was not electrified and decided she would push out of the net. After she wandered around a bit, she decided to get in the paddock with the ewes and chase them. We restrained her and put her in a different net charged at about 5,000 volts so she can relearn to respect the fences. I mentioned that we let Holly out of her small pen to hang out with her new herd, the dairy cows. By yesterday evening, she had decided that as Stella nursed Betty it looked like a wonderful opportunity to have some herself. Betty wasn't absolutely thrilled, but she didn't fuss enough to deter Holly from her dinner. She nursed so much that Betty gave no milk yesterday evening and Holly had milk-scours this morning. When we saw her nursing, we decided that it is now time to start separating the cows and calves at night, so we tried it last night. We think it worked well and we got 4 gallons of milk this morning. We will only milk Happy this evening, assuming Betty isn't too full due to the calves nursing through the day. Yesterday, mom made cheese, about 25 pounds over the last two days! We're all caught up on milk usage, so for the first day in weeks we have nothing to do with milk. Dad continued working on the bar focusing mostly on trim work and shelves. He will work more trim today and start staining the wood. Shelley and Makaylah completed inventory and Shelley and I worked on the website/webstore and updated inventory on the website. I think we worked out an acceptable shopping/shipping solution. We'll try this for a while and see. Feel free to check out the store and let us know how you find the experience. Shelley and I will take one last look at the website to ensure we are happy with it, at least for a few weeks, and then work on editing our next YouTube video. We have two in the queue, one of us milking and one of me fixing the tractor. Shelley will also try to finish up the mowing before the next round of rain. The pics today are Shelley in the tractor...what could possibly be more sexy than a beautiful red-head driving a 4x4 tractor??

On 19 Jan 2023, the US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service published a new rule: National Organic Program (NOP); Strengthening Organic Enforcement. Their stated goal is to "...strengthen oversight and enforcement of the production, handling, and sale of organic agricultural products. The amendments ... build consumer and industry trust in the USDA organic label by strengthening organic control systems, improving farm to market traceability, and providing robust enforcement of the USDA organic regulations." They go on to discuss examples over the past 5 years of organic fraud in what is now a $63 Billion per year market stating the examples "demonstrate the magnitude of fraud that they intercept with current oversight and enforcement techniques." They then discuss the magnitude of organic fraud in imports. In standard government fashion, the only possible solution is more rules, stricter penalties, more "agents" to enforce the rules, and of course, there is the required table that through smoke and mirrors shows all of this new stuff will save you money. My bottom line take away from this is that the government agency responsible for the 'organic' certification is admitting that the system is full of fraud and cannot be trusted. I would like to offer you a non-government organic alternative solution: buy from a local farmer. Go visit the farm and see their practices to make your own decision if the food is good for your family. If everyone began buying from their local farmer, there would be an initial shock to the system as demand would overtake supply, but it will adjust. The end result: the small farm might just might become a profitable, respected, and even appreciated pillar of the community.

Check out Shelley's YouTube Short of the day: Working Sheep...rare quiet moment. Thanks for subscribing! We are over 100 subscribers!!

Local Farm Report for 24 Feb 2023:


28 Chicken eggs

12 Duck eggs

0 Goose eggs

4 Gallons of milk



Farm loss:

1 sickly, should have been culled weeks ago, ewe

Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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